Why SAP Labs Latin America is a global role model for Diversity & Inclusion
Did you know that gender balanced leadership teams have on average a 48% higher profit? Or that happy LGBT employees produce on average 20% more? Or even that companies with diverse workforce represent better their customers and increase customer satisfaction?
Diversity is an imperative for any business that want to succeed. Several studies show that diversity positively affects employee engagement, customer satisfaction, talent acquisition, talent retention and overall profit of the company. That is why more than 80% of the biggest companies in the world (the Fortune 500) make investments in Diversity & Inclusion. SAP is not an exception.
SAP Labs Latin America has been a role model for Diversity & Inclusion in the last couple of years. From LGBT and Gender Diversity, to creating an inclusive environment for differently-abled people, our Labs has called international attention and became a mentor for other regions. Pride@SAP Brazil is the local chapter of SAP’s LGBT employee network. The mission of this employee network is to leverage an inclusive environment for everyone regardless of sexual orientation. When it comes to analyzing the number of members, Pride@SAP Brazil is about to become the largest LGBT employee network from all SAP in the middle of the year. That shows that engagement from our Labs is very high.
On November last year, Pride@SAP Brazil organized the first Southern Corporate LGBT Summit. This was a meeting of representatives of LGBT diversity from the South of Brazil, hosted by SAP Labs Latin America, to discuss LGBT diversity in the corporate environment. We had 40 attendees with participation from big companies like Dell, Lojas Renner, RBS, HP, ADP and Caixa Econômica Federal. The Summit was a success and even got a full page in the most important newspaper of Southern Brazil. After the event, other companies wanted to help spreading this initiative and volunteered to host other editions of the summit. Last month, HP hosted the second edition with 75 attendees. Dell is set to host the next edition by the middle of the year and, by the end of the year, the Summit will come back to SAP Labs Latin America, with the expectation to have a bigger and brighter event. We planted the seed and now we are leading the IT industry in Southern Brazil and impacting the local community.
LGBT diversity is only one of our focus areas when it comes to Diversity & Inclusion. Globally, SAP has a clear target to reach 25% of leadership positions held by females by 2017. In order to achieve this, our employee network focused on female career development, played an important role. Business Women’s Network Labs Latin America helped organized several leadership talks, developed an accelerated learning curriculum and participated on recruitment fairs.
Another focus area we have at SAP is working with colleagues with the autism spectrum. This project is called Autism at Work and SAP was this month at the United Nations to talk about this project. SAP has a goal to have 1% of its workforce to be part of the autism spectrum. SAP Labs Latin America has already works on that matter and our expectation is to have a wave of new hires from the autism spectrum by the end of the year. This year we started supporting our Ethnic-focused employee network, Black Employee Network. Colleagues from our Labs started taking the lead as the first members from Latin America and some actions are planned to be taken along the year in order to leverage ethnic diversity.
One could think that impacting local community is already a great achievement, but SAP Labs Latin America is impacting the world.
Pride@SAP Brazil wrote a chapter of a scientific book focused on LGBT diversity in the corporate environment. The book will be published next year in Germany, Belgium and Austria. Also, a global survey is under construction and will be sent out to to identify improvement areas in SAP’s global internal LGBT community. Last month, Pride@SAP Brazil was elected the winner of the 2015 Employee Network Challenge. With the award of the competition, Pride@SAP Brazil will develop a new project that will be launched in the end of the year.
SAP Labs Latin America is a role model for other SAP Locations. This year, our local Diversity champions are to spread local success to Argentina and our local initiatives are already being spread to other countries like Chile, Peru, Germany, India and the United States. We have been doing an amazing job in the Diversity & Inclusion area and we are ready for our next steps.
By Niarchos Pombo, Global Diversity & Inclusion Office